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Unpaid community work for Moray man after hammer attack

By Ali Morrison

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A hammer-wielding assailant who attacked a man in Moray has been sentenced to unpaid community work.

Joel Clark, of Moray View, Glenlatterach, attacked the man at a house in Birnie after being confronted by his ex-partner in a child care dispute on July 31, 2021.

Clark (25) hit the man, who had driven to the address with Clark's ex partner, in the face with a hammer as he sat in his car, before dragging him out of the vehicle to continue the attack.

Inverness Sheriff Court was told that the bruised and bleeding motorist managed to drive away to the police station and report the assault.

Inverness Sheriff Court.
Inverness Sheriff Court.

Fiscal depute Pauline Gair said he was then taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with concussion and received several stitches to wounds in his head, mouth and legs, as well as treatment for various cuts and bruises.

Clark admitted assault to severe injury and permanent disfigurement. The 25-year-old had sentence deferred for a background report and restriction of liberty order assessment.

His defence solicitor Brent Lockie urged Sheriff Sara Matheson not to jail his client due to the positive report.

He said: "I find it surprising that he could be involved in this. He was threatened by people his ex-partner associates with and this was an emotional response to that threat.

"He is assessed as being of low risk of reoffending."

Sheriff Matheson decided against jailing Clark, although she said the threshold for custody had been met due to the seriousness of the offence.

She ordered him to carry out 225 hours of unpaid community work and imposed a six-month-long restriction on his liberty between 7pm and 7am.

However, she warned Clark: "If you fail to comply then custody is the likely outcome."

View our fact sheet on court reporting here

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